RIDGECREST, Calif. — At least 20 people stayed at an evacuation center Thursday night. The American Red Cross provided basic necessities for the people that were forced out of their homes due to the earthquake. And while some came because they lost power and needed air conditioning, one mother says she simply came to the evacuation center to be in a safe place.
“Well, you think the worst first. You think the worst,” she said.
Thursday’s 6.4 earthquake that shook Southern California caused panic to some who had never experienced something like it. One mother saying she felt like the quake was overcoming her body and she panicked.
“I was working and I was tired for my daughters. Worried about them that nothing bad had happened to them. Praying for them that they were OK. And when I have the chance I went after them to find them and when I got there thank god they were alive and sane," said Aracelis Calderon. "Things were thrown on the floor but at least they’re OK.”
The mother of five felt she was unprepared to protect her kids from possible aftershocks.
“I was out of control and I needed someone, some help."
With nowhere to go, she turned to the nearest evacuation center. The Red Cross gave her and her family a place to sleep, food to eat, and comfort.
“There are many individuals who in my years of volunteering are in tears because whatever the disaster is - and every disaster is different - there are fears that get triggered,” said Alex Flattey of the Red Cross.
After staying the night, her kids said it was the safest place for them.
“We didn’t feel safe going back to our house," said Abel Martinez. "The fridge moved, and cabinets were opening.'”
But they definitely felt the 5.4 aftershock in the morning, but this time they were more prepared.
"We were thinking we should come here in case a bigger one happens,” added Mayne Martinez.
The mother said she is happy she didn’t have to deal with the aftermath all alone.
“I’m more calm to know where ok and were not ok that god is with us and takes care of us. Very grateful.”
Red Cross says recovery can look different for each person and they will keep the evacuation center open until the county has dismissed the state of emergency.